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BBC updates iPlayer mobile app

The BBC is rolling out the latest update to the iPlayer mobile app for Android and iOS mobile devices, featuring a new consistent menu across both platforms.

Explaining the update to the navigation system, Tom Widd Senior UX Designer for BBC iPlayer, wrote in a blog:Users will be presented with a consistent menu bar across the top of the screen no matter which platform they access the app from. This de-clutters the programme stream and allows the user to focus on the most important aspect of using iPlayer: the programmes themselves.”

“Tapping on the Menu button, the bar itself or swiping down from the bar will open the menu, giving users a quick access point for Channels, Categories, TV Guide and Favourites. We know from our internal stats that searching for programmes is one of the main routes to playback so we’ve ensured the Search feature is easily accessible no matter whether the menu is open or closed.”

Outlining future plans for the iPlayer mobile app, Widd added: “Our development team operate in a model of continuous improvement and as we develop new features in the app we also retest and iterate existing features. We therefore have plans to iterate and improve this new navigation pattern as part of this process. In particular we are looking at how we can make it even easier to open the menu by swiping down in the programme stream itself. With the proliferation of large screen phones on the market, not to mention users of tablet devices, we feel that giving users the ability to open the menu without having to reach for the top bar is a playful and intuitive pattern to use. This feature is included on the iOS version of the app but we will be working hard to add it to the Android version in a future release.”

“There are also plans to make channel and category switching even easier as well as developing and testing different types of hinting to aid discovery of the gesture based interactions,” Widd concluded.

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